We're nearing kapha season, but still dealing with the full force of vata season. What are these weird seasons? They are 2 of the 3 seasons in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is yoga's sister science and India's ancient system of health and wellness. Vata and kapha (along with pitta) are not just seasons. They are called doshas and they are energies that permeate everything. So each of the 3 doshas has specific characteristics and is associated with a time of year, times of the day, and a time of life.
We each have some of all 3 energies in us, but tend to have a dominant dosha for body and mind. My dominant dosha happens to be vata for both, but you could have a different one for each (a pitta body, and vata mind).
So what does it mean that we are in vata season? The qualities of vata are cold, dry, light, rough, and movement. Since we are in vata season, these qualities are abundant.
To live with the seasons is to live in balance with nature. In vata season we want to cultivate the opposite of vata qualities to balance out the energy.
Excess of vata energy can show up as dry skin, constipation, insomnia, and lack of focus to name a few things. For me it shows up as asthma and terrible eczema.
If you are feeling these things here are a few ideas to balance them out:
Minimize raw, cold, and processed foods. Eat warm, cooked, mildly spiced (not necessarily spicy- think black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin) whole foods. Choose fall/ winter vegetables for your meals.
Use vata pacifying oils: sesame, almond, and avocado
Hydrate with warm drinks. Avoid iced beverages. Avoid excessive caffeine.
Hydrate your skin with a natural lotion or even sesame oil.
Sleep and eat on a regular schedule. Routine balances vata's flightiness.
Exercise regularly, but gently. Excessive exercise aggravates vata.
Since vata is my primary dosha, I have really struggled in winter. I used to get eczema so bad around my eyes it looked scaly and flaky like a lizard and it was very painful. I tried steroid creams and western approaches to heal it, but nothing worked until I adopted an ayurvedic (vata balancing) diet and practices.
If you are feeling the ill effects of this season try some of these out, and if you want to learn more send me an email. I am happy to share some resources.